Friday, April 16, 2010

Salade Niçoise

It was really hot out yesterday, at 84 degrees it felt like a real summer day. I wanted to make something light for dinner, but still use the grill...Salade Niçoise it is! I knew it would be pretty easy, there's only a few basic ingredients and the tuna barely requires any cooking. I was reading the New York Times Dining section yesterday and stumbled upon an article with a recipe for a Dijon vinaigrette so I figured it was meant to be that I should use it.

How pretty does that look? The ingredients: lettuce, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, olives, and tuna. And...there should be hard boiled eggs, but they're really not my favorite. I did try to make them, but since I never eat them I didn't really know what I was doing and they were runny so they ended up in the garbage. Not a major loss for me.

1/2 head butter lettuce
1/2 lb. green beans
12-15 white boiling potatoes
3 vine tomatoes
handful black olives
1 1/4 lb. tuna

Assembling and cooking the elements of the salad can be done earlier in the day and kept in the refrigerator...or not.

Potatoes: Put in a pot with enough water to cover them by a couple inches. Bring water to a boil and reduce to a simmer, and let cook for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain in a colander and put the colander back into the empty warm pot and cover with a kitchen towel to steam for another 20 minutes. Cut into bite-size pieces. Chill in the refrigerator.

Green beans: Cook in boiling water for 5 minutes, then put in an ice water bath or hold under cold running water. Cut into halves or thirds. Chill in the refrigerator.

Lettuce: Wash and dry the lettuce, and chop.

Tomatoes: Chop into large slices, about 6 per tomato

Tuna: Salt and pepper both sides of the tuna, and rub a bit of canola oil on both sides to prevent sticking. Grill for a little less than 2 minutes on each side. Slice against the grain.

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Combine the lemon juice, vinegar, shallot and mustard in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the dressing emulsifies. Add salt and pepper to taste. Whisk again before dressing salad.

I used white wine vinegar instead of red, which was fine. I mixed some of the dressing in with the lettuce, then poured the rest over the other veggies.

Success! There were three of us dining last night, this recipe is a too big for two people and seared tuna doesn't make for very good leftovers so thank goodness Scott came over to share our dinner.

Dessert was just two-bite macaroons from Whole Foods (my favorite!), so I really only took the picture because I love my cute new bowl from Anthropologie.

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